Learning to love the haters

I don’t pretend to know a lot about love. I’ve only been on a handful of dates in my lifetime. I’ve mostly liked boys who didn’t like me back. I’ve never had a kid or even my own pet. I’m … Continue reading

What is real strength? The answer might surprise you.

I am quite the fan of The Walking Dead. A bunch of people who face drama while killing zombies? I’m totally there. I’m TIVOing that shiz. I’m googling the characters. I’m making Rick Grimes the wallpaper on my phone’s lock screen. … Continue reading

The scariest prayer I’ve ever prayed

Sometimes, God answers my prayers with a resounding “yes.” Not all the time, but sometimes.

There is, however, one prayer that always seems to be answered.

Every now and then, when I feel particularly fond of God, I pray this prayer: God, help me to always do your will. Help me to always be close to you. Even if it hurts and breaks my heart. 

I don’t know why I started praying this prayer. It might have been because I realized without God, I am nothing. I value God’s will for my life above all.

It might not sound like a crazy prayer, but let me tell you IT IS.

Why? Because I don’t always value God’s will for my life. Most of the time, I value MY will for my life. I want what I want and sometimes God is just a means to an end. I want my dreams and to follow my heart (whatever that means).

A lot of the time, I don’t trust God.

Of course, I don’t think about this. I usually think I’m doing just fine not constantly seeking God. Throw in a few verses during the day, do my Christianly duties, be a nice person, etc. Besides, God wasn’t serious when He said to “pray without ceasing,” right?

Wrong.

God’s ultimate will for my life and for yours is not that we will do wonderful, marvelous deeds in the world. It isn’t that we’ll be famous or rich. It isn’t that we’ll become pastors or evangelists. Though all these things are good things, it isn’t God’s number one priority. His priority is to glorify Himself. He doesn’t just want our dreams or good deeds, He wants ALL OF US. And that’s what true sacrifice is. Sacrificing every part of ourselves and saying, “Okay God. Do what you want.” That hurts.

Currently, I’m going through a lot of processing to figure out what God wants me to do this year. My job with Cru ends in May and I’m kind of freaking out. As I said in the last post, I just applied for an internship with IJM. I feel like applying for the internship was what God wanted, but as I continually seek Him, I’ve had to ask myself this one question — What would I do if God said “no?”

Knowing that God’s will is for me to prize Him above all else, I have to ask: Am I valuing this internship above Him? Do I think it will make me better or special? Am I only wanting it out of my flesh?

Have you ever asked yourself these questions? I don’t blame you if you haven’t because they are NOT fun to answer.

And so God asked me this question. What will you do if I say no?

So I did what I always do when God asks me this question — cry, fight, run, whatever I can but answer it. It broke my heart to think of Him saying no. Like, it physically hurt. I put it in the back of my mind, right there with the “nos” and “maybes.” Finally, God broke me until I couldn’t ignore it anymore.

What will you do if I say no?

It took a lot of fighting, but there finally came a moment of peace very much likened to being in a quiet house after a long day.

I will give it up if you ask me to.

Those were the scariest words I could have answered. Ultimately, it really does all come back to glorifying God, to valuing Him, to dying to self. The question is difficult, but it’s worth asking because it reveals your heart and shows you what you’re really worshipping.

“I want to get married!” What if God says no?

“I want to be _____ when I’m older.” What if God says no?

“I want to travel!” What if God says no?

“I want to live a safe and happy life!” What if God says no?

“I want to have kids!” What if God says no?

I don’t know if I’ll get the internship and rejoice in the resounding “yes” from God, or if I will be asked to give it up.

I don’t know. But, I ‘m so grateful that I serve a God who cares about me enough to close the wrong doors and open the right ones. I’m so glad I serve a God who is willing to break my heart because all He wants to know is if I value Him above my own life and desires.

Yes, God. I do.

Faith

The Shire and Australia

The Shire and Australia

Something you probably don’t know about me is that I’m constantly writing unpublished blog posts. Sometimes I think they’re too personal or reveal too much of me. Being known by others is TERRIFYING. Am I right? Thus, most of my … Continue reading

Living by Faith

3 years ago I went on a 20 hour road trip to South Dakota. I know . . . crazy.

Roadtripping like bosses

Roadtripping like bosses

2011-08-31 23.44.18

 

It was fun and exhausting and definitely not at all like I thought it’d be.

Meeting Chris August

Meeting Chris August

Pretty sunsets in South Dakota

Pretty sunsets in South Dakota

While there, Christine Caine, an evangelist and founder of The A21 Campaign (an anti-human trafficking organization), spoke about justice and how we as Christians are called to be a light in the darkest places.

christine-caine1

Now, I had heard about human trafficking before, but something really hit me that day. As she told a story about a girl who was rescued from a brothel, my heart broke and shattered all over the South Dakota floor. I had to keep myself from bawling like a baby as she talked about the 27 million slaves still in the world. I remember thinking I could never have a normal job after her talk — I needed to be an activist for this issue. I told God, “Send me. This is a cause worth giving my life for. This is a cause worth sacrificing my dreams for. Please, God, send me. Help me to do something, anything.”

e7606074-3e70-11e2-bf96-005056b06a0e-5751248

This was three years ago and God has led me on a very unexpected journey towards freeing the oppressed.

So far, I have volunteered at events raising awareness about the issue of human trafficking. I was able to meet several people who have actually rescued sex slaves. I have spoken to strangers about this issue. I am now even sort of interning for IJM, a non-profit human rights organization.

2013-09-10 08.21.17

Representing Cru

Representing Cru

2013-04-03 12.52.27

END IT MOVEMENT

END IT MOVEMENT

iEmpathize event

iEmpathize event

The founders of iEmpathize

The founders of iEmpathize

DSC04377

Somehow, and quite miraculously, God has opened countless doors for me to share my heart on this issue. I haven’t had to bang them down like I have other doors in the past — it’s something that has come easily to me.

Now, as I ponder what I should do next year, I think about this ever looming opportunity. Should I continue in the fight against injustice and try to find my place in it or hang up my coat and call it a day? Should I try to get a “real job” or continue following the Lord’s crazy, rollercoaster of a ride call? I don’t even have to think about it, of course. I know what God has already said. I know what I was made for.

But as I think about what I should and was made to do, instead of being overwhelmingly excited about it, I feel something unfamiliar — fear. It would be so much easier if the stories I read about human trafficking stayed stories. It would be simpler if I could spend my days watching this astronomical issue play out on my TV screen than actually dig my hands into the dirt to end it. It would be easier if I didn’t have to sacrifice my comfortable, suburban lifestyle in order to go to the darkest places.

Seeing is way easier than doing. Talking is way easier than walking.

And then I read 2 Corinthians 5:7: “For we live by faith, not by sight.”

I still have absolutely no idea where I fit into this fight. I’m just a college graduate with a degree in film and creative writing. How could I possibly make a difference?

But, I’m trying to actually live the “faith” thing (Lol because my name is Faith). Faith isn’t feeling sorry for the girls and boys who are kidnapped and abused. It’s not enough to feel sorry. Feeling sorry doesn’t do anything. I have to live out my faith. We have to live it.

As I continue wondering where I should go, I know I don’t even have to ask God because He has already declared,“Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow” (Isaiah 1:17).

So now, I look towards the future and pray I will never read this verse in regret. I pray no matter how difficult it seems to end this issue, I will keep fighting with enthusiasm and fervor, living out my faith, never forgetting the words I once prayed as a college sophomore in South Dakota, “Help me to do something, anything.”

Hopefully, one day, I’ll be able to look back and know that I did.

Faith

Worrying

A year ago, I was worrying about what I’d be doing today. I was worried that my life would feel meaningless and I’d not be able to pay my bills. I worried that I’d be unhappy.

None of that came true. I live a life that I feel like is making a difference in people’s lives. I’m doing better than I’ve ever done financially (living at home kind of helps with that) and I’m actually pretty happy.

A year ago, I was worrying.

Today, I’m worrying about next year. Where will I go? What will I be doing? Will I still be living here? Will I be able to pay my student loans if I move?

Worrying. Worrying. Worrying.

When does it end? Then, I start thinking about next year and what will happen when changes start taking place. I worry about next year and how I’ll start worrying about the next year and the next and the next until I’ve worried my life away.

There are so many things to worry about. And still, I forget that God says “do not worry” because He actually kind of cares for me.

Why am I worrying? I just want it to stop. I want to believe what He says. I want to enjoy this journey, no matter how dark the path ahead looks because of my lack of control.

Trust me. Trust me.

God keeps reminding me of this, but it’s so difficult to follow, I wonder if anyone can.

Maybe ending the worrying streak doesn’t happen all at once; maybe it takes small steps of faith, choosing in a moment to say “no” to the anxiety. I’m going to try saying “no” a lot more.  At least for this moment.

Faith

It’s my 23rd birthday.

It’s my 23rd birthday which is weird because I’ve always wanted to be 23. Isn’t it so exciting to finally be something you’ve always wanted to be? I think 23 is going to be the start of some great things in my life. I’m no longer in school and actually have to start doing things. Ah!

In celebration of life, here are 23 things I’ve learned in the past 23 years.

1. Life is full of endings and that’s okay. Endings don’t ruin the future because most of the time endings propel us TO the future.

2. If you want to go do something, go do it.

3. Don’t wait for your life to begin.

4. Life is too short to read boring books.

5. You don’t have to fight your battles alone.

6. Writing a book is easy. Rewriting a book is not.

7. God still turns bad things into good things.

8. The friends that stick around in ours lives aren’t usually the ones we’d expect to.

9. Be nice to everyone.

10. You can dress however you want.

11. Being famous solves nothing.

12. Evil still exists because we let it exist.

13. Never make someone out to be anything more than human.

14. There are SO many fish in the sea but only a few of them are catches.

15. It’s okay that not everyone will like you or me.

16. It is good to have our own opinions gained through our own minds, not through other people’s minds.

17. People say “be yourself” but very rarely ever mean it.

18. Sacrifices are necessary for growth.

19. Don’t lead people on.

20. Confrontation is not a bad thing.

21. A lot of people don’t really want to follow God, they just want what God will give them.

22. Comparison is the thief of joy.

23. Just because something feels right doesn’t mean it is.

Hope you all have a lovely day. I’m going to loom over the amazingness that is Breaking Bad.

Faith

It’s not my battle.

“The battle is the Lord’s.”

I know this verse is often quoted out of context or whatever but I think it’s true. I want to believe it’s true. I need to believe it’s true. That’s the only hope there is.

The battle is the Lord’s. My battles are the Lord’s battles.

My insecurities? The Lord’s.

My fears? The Lord’s.

My loneliness? The Lord’s.

My doubts? The Lord’s.

My confusion? The Lord’s.

My dreams? The Lord’s.

My constant failings? The Lord’s.

I wonder what would happen if I acted like this was truth.

When I am wondering why God keeps closing doors, when I am walking through the valleys and the desert wastelands, I whisper these words like a lullaby.

I am reminded of 1 Samuel 17:47:

“All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

When reason says, “Well, God doesn’t want this verse to apply to YOU,” then God reminds me of Ephesians 6:12:

 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

He reminds me of John 16:33

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

There is more in the world than what my short-sightedness allows me to see. I am in a war and it is unseen. Delusional people say stuff like that, right? Well, maybe they’re on to something.

I am on God’s side and He has already defeated the devil. The devil knows his time is coming to an end and he is ANGRY. He’s taking it out on me, on you, and all of us. He hates us. He wants to destroy us. He’s trying to stir up waves while we walk on the water.

But the battle is the Lord’s. I’ve given it to God and that’s all there is to that.

I’m going to keep saying it until it sinks into the dryest parts of myself, until I finally see healing and light break through. I’m going to keep saying it until I don’t even remember being discouraged. I’m going to say it until those closed doors look golden because all my eyes can focus on is Jesus.

“The battle is the Lord’s.” And He has already won.

Faith